Eclectic Closet Litblog, Book Reviews & Knitting Designs

A litblog dedicated to book reviews/recommendations, as well as literary and publishing news. Now enhanced with knitting designs.

Interview: Alex Tinsley, Dull Roar


Today’s Gift-A-Long interview is with Alex Tinsley of Dull Roar. Alex is known for a prolific designer known for her love of simple textures and interesting shapes. She lives in Michigan.

Alex Tinsley, modeling Chevzam Cowl

Alex Tinsley, modeling Chevzam Cowl

How did you get started designing?
In college I was knitting a lot to keep myself awake in class, and I started selling my spoils on etsy. I rarely used other people’s patterns, preferring to just sort of making stuff up as I went. After awhile I noticed that a lot of people were selling patterns (this was pre-Ravelry, when you had to email the pdfs individually from etsy) so I started doing that as well. When Ravelry came along I transitioned over to pretty much just doing patterns.

What inspires your designs?
Usually I’m toying with some stitch or motif or design element that I’m into at the moment, and playing with how best to show it off/combine it with others. No magical bolt from the blue, I’m afraid- just good ole trial and error 😉 At this point I tend to have ideas faster than I can knit them, so I write down or sketch out whatever pops into my head so that I can go back to it later.



Which comes first – the yarn or the inspiration?
It totally varies! Some yarn seems to plant an idea in my head, sometimes I’ve agreed to design with a particular yarn so I have to think something up for it, sometimes I have an idea and have to go stash-diving. I collect a lot of single skeins so I usually have a good number of options for small projects like hats.

What characteristics do you try to incorporate in your designs?
I tend to keep my designs in the advanced-beginner/intermediate area (or what I call “tv knitting”- interesting enough to hold your attention but easy enough that you can probably watch tv while you work.) And obviously I make a lot of hats 😉 I’m not sure there are many other consistent characteristics though.



What is your favourite type of item to design?
It’s probably obvious from my Ravelry page, but hats!

Your desert island yarn? (if you could only knit with one yarn from now on which would it be?)
Malabrigo Merino Worsted, my yarny soulmate.

Northern Line

Northern Line

What’s your “comfort knitting?”
A good ole stockinette hat in the round. Maybe in handspun yarn.

Which is your most under-appreciated design?
Vahl is one that I liked quite a bit, but didn’t really catch on.



Which three GAL designs are top of your list to cast on?
*Sigh* to be honest I probably won’t get to knit any of them, I almost never have time for personal projects 🙁 But I did pick up Jenise Reid’s Persian Curled Toe Slippers (so cool!) and I’ve had several of Alicia Plummer’s patterns in my queue for ages. And by several I mean like… at least 50% of them, haha.

Continental or English?



What’s the best thing about knitting?
You can make just about anything you can imagine, with just a bit of string and a few simple tools. That’s so cool!

What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to share with other knitters?
Don’t forget to check your row gauge! Sometimes it matters more than you think it will, haha.



Any knitting/designing New Year’s resolutions?
Not resolutions exactly, but I do have some big plans 🙂 I hope to see more garments in my future!

View all of Alex’s patterns here. All photos are copyright Alex Tinsley, Dull Roar. All images used by permission.

What is the Gift-A-Long? The GAL is a big knitting and crochet designer promotion with prizes and more than 5,000 people participating in a giant KAL/CAL. Come join the GAL group on Ravelry!

posted under interview, Knitting

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My Knitting Patterns

Audrey II

Angular Path Scarf

Cartouche Stole

Fossetta Cowl

Fossetta Hat

Sargaço Shawl

Whitman Hat

Every Which Way Cowl

Every Which Way Hat

Every Which Way Fingerless Mitts

Gothic Forest Scarf

Valencia Scarf

Branching Path Cowl

Flower Bell Stole

Whitman Cowl

New Tech Cowl

Vieux Carré Stole

Stacks Socks

Anna Perenna Shawlette

Taming of the Fox

Don't Ask Y

Cantilevering Leaves

Amplification Stole

Combs Cowl

Mindfulness Cowl

Tipsy Scarf

Gridwork Scarf
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